Egypt has expressed concerns over what it says is the slow pace of work on technical studies in relation to Ethiopia’s flagship dam – the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project.
This concern was raised during a meeting between Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, and his Ethiopian counterpart Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu in New York on the sideline of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
There is an ongoing dispute over the GERD project especially its impact on water distribution of the River Nile. The issue affects both countries as well as Sudan. Shoukry said all parties needed to meet to share results from the technical studies and to firm up commitments in that regard.
Leaders of the three countries in 2015 signed a cooperation deal over the giant hydroelectric dam which will lie on a tributary of the river Nile, at the time tensions had risen over regional water supplies.
The leaders said the “declaration of principles” would pave the way for further diplomatic cooperation on the Grand Renaissance Dam, which has stirred fears of a regional resource conflict.
The two diplomats who are part of their respective national delegations at the UNGA also discussed ways of bolstering bilateral relations betwen Addis Ababa and Cairo.
The North African giant also reaffirmed that it was in no way against the interest of Ethiopia but rather keen to strengthen already existing relations.
Ethiopian government news portals also reported that the two stressed the need for Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt to work together to further strengthen the people-to-people relations that exists between them.